Media Forensics opens royalty-audit offer to US devs

Media Forensics opens royalty-audit offer to US devs
Michael French

By Michael French

November 20th 2006 at 10:30AM

Games industry royalty-auditing company Media Forensics is expanding, offering its finance services to US independent studios.

Co-founded in 2002 by Tim Christian and Faye Sieracki, Media Forensics audits studios' agreements with publishers to report on unpaid royalties.

So far, the company says it's had a 100 per cent hit rate in discovering errors in royalty statements - working out that money was still owed to development houses yet hidden by publishers' overstated manufacturing/distribution and marketing costs and understated sales information.

"Having clearly demonstrated that our services are of great financial benefit to our European clients, we are ready to extend our reach to North America," explained Christian.

"As the games industry continues to mature it will adopt the audit practices commonly used in other areas of the entertainment sector. For example, it is common in the movie and television segments for ‘talent’ – musicians, actors and authors – to engage auditors to perform annual audits of royalties as a matter of course. Media Forensics is ready to fulfil these needs for video game developers and publishers in North America as well as Europe.”

The company already represents Eurocom, Eutechnyx, Blitz Games and Rebellion - but the team wants to grow that roster to include the busy North American teams. One US team already on its books is ZeniMax.

Denise Kidd, ZeniMax' controller, explained: “Media Forensics delivered results for us. They are an excellent source for independent royalty and related work. Their staff is knowledgeable, professional, and thorough. They kept us informed throughout the project and ensured the project was concluded timely. It was very refreshing to work with auditors who understand the financial aspects of the games business. We received good value for the dollars we spent and look forward to working with Media Forensics in the future.”